Care Inspectorate Hub – Outdoor Learning Guidance Tools

Outdoor Learning 

Guidance Tools available on the Care Inspectorate Hub

Children in our CALA centres have come back after their summer holidays and got straight back into exploring their outdoor play environments and favourite spaces in their communities. Lots of exploring, investigating and discoveries have already been made by the children and observations, interests and ideas captured to inform future planning.

With the national focus on Outdoor Learning and as we plan our outdoor environments and experiences, we thought it might be a timely reminder to highlight some of the valuable tools to help support good practice in your ELC setting on the ‘Care Inspectorate Hub’ Click on each of the documents to access.

Play Types Toolkit: bringing more play into the school day

The following update comes courtesy of our friends at Play Scotland

Play Scotland’s Play Types Toolkit is now available to download free from our website.
The Toolkit is for schools and education professionals, and others working with children in various settings. Playing is an integral part of children’s day in many educational and childcare settings.  Children play before the bell goes in the morning; at playtime and lunchtime; and after school ends.  Increasingly, playing is part of class time across Scotland too.  Educators are getting better at recognising the interconnections between playing, learning, growing, developing, being healthy and being happy.
For full details and to download click here
Note: Should you extract information from the Toolkit please reference this back to the publication and Play Scotland.

Benji the PlayTalkRead bus is coming to Highland!

Why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play

Play Scotland drew our attention to a recent blog article, on the subject of risky play. The article is titled ‘Why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play‘ and discusses how research shows risky play “increases physical activity, social skills, risk management skills, resilience and self-confidence. ” Access the article by clicking here. 

Bundle up and get outdoors

The following information came from the latest ‘Play Scotland‘ newsletter.


Play Scotland have shared a link to an article that has lots of information on children being encouraged to play outdoors during the winter months. Some of the benefits to outdoor winter play are: increases in exercise and using different muscles, getting fresh air and avoiding bacteria, and vitamin D exposure.

If you’re interested in reading about other ways children can benefit from bundling up and getting outdoors, click here to read the full article.

Boredom Busters – a new app from Play Scotland


A new app has been released by Play Scotland, full of fun and healthy ideas you can do with children. Find out more on the Boredom Busters website.  Here’s some more information on the app from Play Scotland:

Boredom Busters is a brand new, fun app for 8-12 year olds, designed to get children actively playing more in a variety of different ways. This app is packed full of inspirational ideas for ways to play brought to you by Play Scotland.

“By tapping into the digital world we can offer this resource to children all over Scotland no matter who or where they are. This is a fun way of supporting children and young people in Scotland giving them access to a wide range of play opportunities that meet their individual needs.”

Check out our Boredom Busters micro site


Risks, Benefits and Choices on the Longest Day!


Sandra has sent through a short report about a fun and informative evening they had recently at Strathpeffer Community Centre, celebrating ‘Play on the Longest Day’. Sandra explains more:

Over 20 out of school practitioners from CALA, local authority and private setting participated in a ‘Risks, Benefits and Choices’ workshop, held in Strathpeffer Community Centre on the evening of June 20th (the longest day)!

Incorporating the Care Inspectorate’s guidance “My World Outdoors”, the practitioners looked at the importance of risk benefit and challenge in children’s outdoor play, the implications of the CI resource, and gained practical ideas and experience revisiting some of their own childhood play experiences.


Comments from the workshop included:

“Taking Risks is ok!”



“Older games can be as good fun as the newer ones”

“How easy it is to plan for risky play”

“Everything can be done one way or another”

– Sandra MacBean Quality Improvement Officer

– Glen Denny Training Officer

Play on the Longest Day – Monday 20th June 2016


Play Scotland is promoting its annual Playday Celebration, a national campaign to encourage children and parents to get out and play at locally organised events. Play Scotland recommend extending play time on the 20th of June, celebrating children’s right to play. For more information, click here to download the flyer.

Funders of Play – a guide to foundations, trusts and charities who support play in Scotland


Inspiring Scotland have issued a report called “Funders of Play – a guide to foundations, trusts and charities who support play in Scotland”. The report lists the organisations in Scotland that offer funding to charitable and non-profit organisations in Scotland. Contact details and the maximum grant available are also listed.

You can download the report by clicking here, or find out more about these grants on the Inspiring Scotland website.

Highland Play Strategy 2016 – 2020


Did you know that in the eyes of the United Nations, every child should have the opportunity for play and recreation? The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 31, states:

“Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities”

There are many many benefits of play, including exercise, building friendships, teamwork and improving social skills.

Given the importance of play for a child’s development, how do we ensure Highland’s children are given the opportunity to engage in regular and worthwhile recreational activities?

With these questions in mind, For Highland’s Children have published “Highland Play Strategy 2016 – 2020”. The aim of the Highland Play Strategy is to “make Highland the best place to grow up” and this report contains a four step strategy to help make this happen.

The PDF report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Frugal Fun Friday: More Caterpillars!

Mairianne is back with another Frugal Fun Friday! This week Mairianne shows us how a simple paper plate can be transformed in to a friendly and colourful catterpillar.